the art of happy
The Art of Happy is inspired by enjoying the moments, choosing, practicing happiness - definitely not our circumstances. We live in a world built on perception. Perception is not actual critical thought or true belief, it is an idea or a picture in front of you and you receiving it. My degree is in Political Science and Written Communication. I started my career in political campaigns, in both Republican and Democrat, and grew up in church. I know what it is to create and build a perception of someone or something and cause the majority of people to simply believe it. It doesn't have to have anything to do with the truth, sadly. I see it all around us today. Most people just receive what they see, what they hear, what the present circumstance or emotion dictates. Before the coronavirus era, I saw how the trailers of movies, the movies themselves, television shows, and social media pushed anxiety more and more. Coming from a background of research and methodology, it was super obvious. "The enemy doesn't have to hide anymore." I tend to agree with this but the funny thing is that we still don't see it. Christians have the Spirit so it should be clear to us; but I see just as many lovers of Christ on anxiety medications and talking like this world is our life. That is the switch, the turning point. This world is not our life. There is a "prince and power of the air" and he is nothing in comparison to the King of all kings. He is called the power of the air for a reason. It's just air. I write about life from the viewpoint of choosing happy, regardless of circumstances and regardless of ourselves. I have lived through more experiences than I will list or that you want to hear - those places I could not escape and I had to live through.
But one of those times in my life, I will tell you about that is relevant to us now. When the swine flu (H1N1) pandemic hit, myself and my family got the flu from a man who came to my husband's work sick, telling everyone that he was bringing them a Christmas present. I went through all those calls for consent of trying different machines to try to save my husband that you are hearing about now with the coronavirus. Russell was twenty-seven years old and healthy, no underlying issues. Our daughter was four. She and I got better; he died. The fear and pain was so great that my body literally shook for two months afterwards.
I have a word for you today. When God's presence comes in those times, you will never again wonder if He is real. And you will realize what life is really about and that it is so much simpler than you thought. I hear well-meaning Christians saying "that virus won't get me, I am washed in the blood" and "my God is bigger" and other things. I heard Governor Cuomo say the other day, "The number is down because we brought the number down. God did not do that. Fate did not do that. Destiny did not do that. A lot of pain and suffering did that." Neither of those viewpoints are God's view. These few years that we have on this earth is just that, a few years. God was and is and always will be. Our future is not bound to this life we are living. Jesus's blood is real and does more than our human minds have comprehension of and He is Healer but what is most important is His presence. It is what saves us, frees us, gives us peace, and hope, even in the middle of bad. One day Governor Cuomo will bow his knee and one day we will too and we will all confess that He is Lord.
When I was trying to live after Russell was gone, I would wait every morning for God to come and fill me up with His peace and give me a "want to". And He never failed to show up. That is not something that can be explained or proven. But that is the main reason I want my story to be available to you - you can choose happy - I did. Give all the questions and complications of life up and just bend the knee now and confess He is Lord. Let Him be that. Then you go and enjoy the sun today or the rain as it falls on the mountains, the sound of the birds or the wind, your favorite hot cup of tea, or your mom's homemade apple dumplings - the "happy"s of life. It is in the small things that we find happy. Don't receive all the perceptions, they don't matter in the end anyway. I think so many of us struggle with anxiety because we hold so tight to this life. We look to God to fix it so we are safe and sound. His sight is set on so much more than that. The only way you will know is by knowing Him.
Did you know that God is hilarious and that He laughs more than anyone I know? Did you know that He has more colors in heaven than we have ever seen here? Did you know that there is so much more happening than is visible to us now? The Art of Happy is choosing to live this life well while it is here with the certainty that there's more "fabulous" to come and the gratitude for the small things in front of us today.
"I bless you in the name of Jesus Christ with a moment today that you will either hear Him or see Him as He is always present. I bless you with that certainty and to know something about Him that you didn't know yesterday."
*I will end every post in "a penny's worth of advice" category with a blessing. I believe God does act when we pronounce blessings on each other. Sometimes we don't have anyone to bless us so I want to give that to you. Let me know how He shows up, I would love to hear.
Michelle Gill is a website designer, trail hiker sometimes runner, disc golfer's wife, barista, Jesus lover, book collector, mama, old house explorer and writer of Tupelo & Marmalade. Learn more at www.tupeloandmarmalade.com